Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Great Week and Being Transfered

This week was really good. We went to see Lowden again and asked if he had read the chapter in 2 Nephi we assigned him. He was like "Ya I did and then I just started reading from the beginning and I'm in Jacob now." We were like "What?!!" It was awesome. We taught him the plan of salvation and had Alex and an RM who just got back at the lesson with us. Also he has a baptismal date for sept 14!! We'll see what happens though because his parents are getting a divorce soon so they aren't very willing to give him permission to be baptized right now. He also came to a ward activity and a missionary fireside. The ward activity was a big dinner at one of the parks. A lot of less actives came and we got to meet some of the Elder's investigators. One is a really pretty brazilian lady and the other lady named Shirley didn't believe there were sister missionaries like the elders said until she met us! It was a really great activity for fellow shipping and getting people to meet the members. We also stopped by Irene (the eternigator) and she told us she gave up drinking and got rid of all the beer in her house. It was awesome! (she's tried to quit before so hopefully this time it will last) She's definitely taking her time committing but maybe if she keeps taking little steps she will eventually be ready. We also did a lot of service like helping an older couple repaint their house and helping Natalie out (the lady pregnant with triplets). Also we were at dinner at a members house and the mom said that she really appreciated us because she could tell we are good missionaries and that she would trust us to teach any of her friends! It is awesome to know that the members trust you and have faith in you. I think some of the missionaries in this ward in the past haven't been as committed or mature about being missionaries so it is good that the members are really trusting the missionaries again. We also contacted a teenage girl who seemed interested and we also went by a potential investigator and met his daughter who was really nice and seemed interested in the book of Mormon. One of our less actives has been coming to church for 5 weeks in a row! Another less active family has been coming the past 3 weeks and took us out for lunch a few days ago. They thanked us for bringing the spirit with us and helping to uplift them.
And so, since this was a really great week, guess what? I'm getting transferred!!!! I'm going to Fountain valley which is in Huntington beach, so it is going to be a big change. I'm sad to be leaving everyone behind that I have really gotten to know and love but it will be exciting to be in a new area!

Love you all!!!

-Sister Washburn
The Zone.
This is me and Sister Reinsch at the LA visitors center.
Back at the MTC.
This super awesome Hawaiian family that love the missionaries.
 This is a shopping area right next to where we live, the shops are pretty much all Korean. Welcome to Cerritos!
Another from the MTC.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


She is really grateful for all the packages people are sending her.  CDs are good but she has enough Mormon Tabernacle choir now and instrumental, so if you really want to send a CD, just something churchy with vocals.  And, they aren’t allowed to chew gum in public because it looks unprofessional so maybe don’t send her gum.  Thanks for all your support! 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Temple Week

This week was way better!!! We had zone conference this week which is basically a bunch of trainings from 9:30-3:30. It was really good though. We had a training on teaching while you listen and listening while you teach. It makes a HUGE difference in lessons and teaching situations when people realize that you are truly listening to them and that you are invested in what they have to say. People are able to open up so much more and can really feel Christ's love through you. We also had a training on teaching clearly. This includes a lot of things but the sisters that taught this focused on defining words. A lot of times we throw out words that we hear all the time at church but people don't really know what repentance, atonement, prophet, priesthood, all mean so we have to make sure to explain things better so that we are better teachers. President Tew gave a good training on Christ and how his last lecture and one of his last acts before the atonement was about service. He washed the disciples feet (which was something you just didn't do) and told them that if He would be willing to do this for them they should be that much more willing to serve others. Focusing on others really is what this life is about. The things that make us unhappy are based on us worrying about ourselves. Ultimately everything Christ did was for others so in order to become more like him we need to serve those around us. I also like how president mentioned that Jesus was born into a poor family, in the lowest of circumstances (a stable), and his family was also looked down on since Mary wasn't officially married yet. Jesus was born into a situation where all of the odds were against him yet he rose above it all. I really like this because I feel like some of the people we meet have had a rough past but this shows that anyone can change and that the gospel can bring you peace and happiness no matter what you have been through because Christ has been through it.
We have a new investigator named Lowden. He is 17 and his family investigated the church a while back but then decided they weren't interested. We taught him about the book of Mormon when we first met him and then we met with him again on Sunday. We brought one of the priests with us to the lesson. Lowden seemed like he wasn't really all that interested. He liked learning about our church but he wasn't interested in converting. (he's a musician and he said that all he needs is his music) Anyways Alex (the priest) has had a rough past. His mom left him and his siblings with his aunt and uncle because being a parent was "too much." He had been inactive for a long while but started coming back to church 2 years ago. He bore his testimony that this church changed his life and help him to be happy even through everything he's been through. He said that he isn't as angry anymore and he realizes the important things in life. He said that before he came back to church he wasn't that interested either, he thought he was living life fine without religion. But once he gave the church a chance it completely changed his outlook on life. So members are awesome!!! Alex was able to say some things that Lowden really needed to hear. Sister Reinsch and I bore testimony about how this gospel has helped us. For me I mentioned how if today I lost everything that I have the only thing I would have left is my faith in Christ. Then we taught him the first lesson and by the end of the lesson he seemed so much more open to moving forward with this. He said to give him a few weeks to read some of the book of mormon and pray and then he will decide if this is something he is going to do. So hopefully his heart will be softened to the message and he will be able to receive an answer. Other than that we have just been working with less actives still (four came to church on sunday!!) and talking to people we see and going by potential investigators in our area book.
Also we got to go to the temple this week!!!! (thats why I'm writing on a tuesday, our p-day got switched to a tuesday this week so that we could go to the temple) We get to go every 3 months. The L.A. temple is huge!!! And we also got to go to the visitors center and see the family history and distribution center that are there. I wish we could go to the temple more often but it was really nice to get a chance to go again.
Some good things that happened this week: we were knocking and we met this really nice hindu lady who let us come in and talk to her. Hindus believe that all religions are correct since they all help us find the "way." Anyways it was still nice to talk to her, she was very nice and we talked about some bollywood movies that we've all seen so that was cool. We also have finally been able to contact some less actives that have been out of town for a while and finally meet them. We did some service for a less active lady who is having triplets!!! Her name is Natalie, she is a convert from 6 years ago, and she is the cutest 38 year old I know. We helped her clean out her office which she is going to turn in to the babies room. We also visited a less active lady from the Philippines and got to eat some more phillipino food (phillipino food is kind of hit or miss but they always feed us good stuff). We also gave a church tour to one of our "eternigators." It was a good experience and I still don't think she is ready to change because she has word of wisdom issues that she is not willing to give up, but hey I think we are still helping her testimony grow little by little.The mormon ad you sent me was great because we recite D&C section 4 everytime that we have meetings. This whole section explains what we as missionaries do. We also recite our purpose at every meeting. Our purpose as missionaries is "to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the holy ghost and enduring to the end." As we invite others to learn more and help people come closer to Christ, their faith will grow and they will want to repent and make those covenants that will help them to receive the blessings that the Lord has in store for all of his children who follow Him. So that is what we have been really trying to keep in mind this week. To do the little things like extending commitments and teaching principles that will help members, less actives, and non-members come closer to Christ. I love you all!! Have a good last few days of summer!

-Sister Washburn
 ^LA Temple^
 ^The view from the temple.^
  ^Me and sister Reinsch.^
  ^Me, Sister Decker, Sister Curtis, and Sister Reinsch.^
^Sister Washburn!!!!!!^

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


So I'm not going to lie this was a really hard week. It just seemed like nothing was going right. No one was keeping their appointments with us, the 2 refferals we had weren't interested, and we bascially have no investigators and no one to teach so we were visiting a lot of less actives but most of them are not that willing to change. Also I think the "greenie fire" that I had from being a new missionary finally kind of wore off and I realized that being a missionary is hard!! I can honestly say that I have never tried so hard at something in my entire life, all day everyday no matter what the results are. Sister Reinsch and I were feeling really discouraged and we had a few moments where we were like "I honestly don't want to go out today because I'm tired of trying so hard." But thank goodness for awesome district leaders and zone leaders!!! Since we were discouraged we weren't trying as hard in our work and so things really weren't moving forward which got us more discouraged. So since we didn't know what to do we called our zone leaders and were like "Help us! We feel like nothing we are doing is working and we feel really confused and unsure about what more we can do." They talked us through it and we realized that being discouraged and not wanting to work was because we weren't having faith. Sometimes I really hate knocking since we're lucky if someone listens to us and if they do listen we're lucky if they want to meet with us again. But as a missionary its not about what you feel like doing its about doing what you have to do. Showing the Lord that you are willing to do everything there is to find the people he has prepared. I feel like so far I have had a lot of faith and have been trying to rely on the Lord to guide us and to help us in the work. But after this week and letting the discouragement get to me I feel like I am starting all over and having to rebuild my faith again. We met with the zone leaders and they talked to us about how we can develop the faith to find. We need to do more in order to find more people because right now we have no one to teach. We need to put all of our efforts into finding. We also talked to our district leader and he said that he has had these kinds of weeks before. But surprisingly the answer for not wanting to work is to work! You have to show the Lord that you are willing to do everything he asks you in order to find people and to be blessed in your efforts. So we are doing a lot better and I am really trying to have faith (its just a lot easier said than done). Also we got to participate in a blitz this week which was exciting!! Some of the sisters in our zone have been having a really hard time in their area particularly in finding (sounds familiar . . but it wasn't us). Anyways so what a blitz is is that all of the missionaries in the zone get together and we each take a section of these sister's area and for one arfternoon all of us go and knock and contact in their area. We contacted a few people so hopefully they find someone to teach soon! So ya this has been a really long week and honestly I am just trying to forget it and move on and do better this week. I have been reading in the scriptures in Mosiah and I love the story of the people of Alma. They were in bondage to the Lamanites and were persecuted, mocked, and smitten. But through it all they had amazing faith. They relied on the Lord and prayed to him for strength and comfort. Because of their faith their burdens were made light and they were able to endure their trials with patience and cheerfulness. This story is amazing to me!! When hard things happen it can be really hard to be cheerful and try to endure patiently (for example this week). But I know that things always work out better when we turn to the Lord for strength. He never leaves us alone even when we feel like things aren't working out the way they should. He knows exactly what we are going through and he knows perfectly how to help us and comfort us. We put pictures on our planners and this transfer the front of mine has a picture of Christ with a quote by Neal A Maxwell. The quote says "I testify that Jesus is the perfect example and leader, not asking us to do what He has not done, not asking us to endure what He has not endured, giving us enough, but not more than we can manage." Christ knows we can endure those hard weeks! He knows how it feels to be discouraged and to not have anyone listen to you and to feel like what you are doing isn't making that big of a difference. And if we have faith in him we will be able to see that we really are doing his work and we are making a difference even though it might just be small moments or we might be doing things where we can't see the effects right away. So stay tuned because this week is going to be awesome and miracles are going to happen!!! Hurrah for Israel!!
Sister Washburn

Monday, August 5, 2013

Sisters Conference

Hello everyone!
This week we had a Sister's Conference. All of the 45 sisters in our mission got together (we are getting a few more sisters in a couple of weeks!) and we had some training, get to know you stuff, lunch, and a slideshow of pictures of the sisters. The Conference was based on President Uctdorf's talk at the young womens broadcast "Your Journey Home." If you haven't read this talk go read it NOW! It is so good! It's definitely on my list of all time favorite talks because there are just so many great parts and I love the way that President Uchtdorf says things. Anyways the conference was great because I got to see all of my MTC buddies and some of the other sisters I got to know last transfer. So this week was busy but we had to drop a lot of our investigators. Leslie hasn't been keeping her appointments and Aaron we haven't been able to contact in a really long time. Our other referrals weren't interested. Finally we went to try one of the referrals for the last time before we were going to drop him. He answered the door and we ended up giving the first lesson. And at the end he agreed to be baptized! But then we found out he's 18 and just graduated so we had to hand him over to the elders in charge of the singles ward. So basically we are back to square one and we are just trying to find people. We have been challenging the members to hand out mormon.org pass along cards. Also we have been really trying to talk to everyone! Its hard because sometimes we see someone across the street or getting out of their car or something where we have to really go out of our way to talk to them even if though it might be easier to justify passing by. We haven't gotten any return appointments yet but we have been able to talk to a lot more people and teach them more about our church!! We met this Korean preacher the other day who was really nice and we ended up clearing up a lot of misconceptions he had about the church so at least we are helping people to understand mormons better.
Well our schedule is like this
6:30 wake up (every day-no sleeping in :/ )
6:30-7:00 exercise, Our mission is a running mission so we have to run for our exercise. We go to the high school track by our school and run (well walk and run because Sis Reinsch has even less endurance for running than me but we're working on it)
7:00-8:00 we get ready and eat breakfast
8:00-9:00 is personal study (I just started the book of mormon again and sometimes I read talks too)
9:00-11:00 companionship study (It's two hours long because I am still in training but once my training is done it will just be for one hour)
11:00-1:00 out working
1:00-2:00 lunch
2:00-3:00 PMG study (Since I'm in training I have an extra hour of preach my gospel study but once I'm done with training we will be out working right after lunch)
3:00-5:00 out working
5:00-6:00 dinner
6:00-9:00 out working
9:00-9:30 go home and do our planning for the next day
9:30-10:30 get ready for bed (we can go to bed as soon as we are ready after planning we just have to be in bed with lights off by 10:30 at the latest)
So ya our days are pretty busy. Mondays are different because of p-day and Thursdays are different because we have district meeting and weekly planning. There are about 200 active members in our ward (out of like 500 something) so I guess it is kind of small. It's bigger than some of the other wards in our district though so I guess it sometimes feels bigger than it is. Ya we have a set of elders in our ward as well (the zone leaders). So that is really nice because they help us figure things out and how to best work with the ward. The ward is split in half so we each are in charge of half of the ward. Our ward area is pretty big in general. Just our half is 3x as big as most sister's areas in our mission. Over the years a lot of people have moved out of the ward and a lot of korean, chinese, and indian people have moved into the area so the ward has gotten a lot smaller I guess. One of the less active families we visited this week have the cutest kids!! The dad is from taiwan and the mom is half japanese so they are teaching their kids chinese. Chinese is crazy! The dad was explaining that for the word "ma" there are five different pronunciations and depending on how you pronounce it, it means a different word. We also visited another less active family that is from the Philippines. They fed us lunch which was chicken adobe (a popular chicken dish in the philippines) and also they had some really good mangos. I usually don't really like mangos but these ones were really good. They were yellow instead of red and green on the outside so maybe I just like this kind better. They have a five year old daughter who is a really good singer!!! She sang "girl on fire" and "what makes you beautiful" for us. She is opening for a famous philippino singer who is coming here to perform so that's pretty cool. Oh and another cool story. This week we were knocking on a certain street that we had felt prompted to knock. Only one lady had answered and she wasn't that interested. We got to the last door before we were going to go home for lunch. The lady who answered the door said that she was trying to get back into religion. She said her daughter had a friend who was mormon who is home for the summer and that she really wanted her daughter to join the mormon church. She lives in Cypress (which is out of our area) but works for a lady there on that street. Even though we won't teach her since she lives somewhere else, it still seems like a really good referral for some other missionaries!! I really know that Heaveny Father is guiding us in everything we do. Even if things don't always work out or we can't always see an immediate benefit from what we are doing, I know that he is preparing us and leading us to people to teach.
Thanks for all of your prayers!!
Sister Washburn